Kitchen & Bath Design News recently posed the question to dealers and designers in the kitchen and bath industry: How does social media impact your firm's marketing efforts? Following are some of their responses:
Our team starting working with social media marketing efforts in early 2010 to communicate with business associates, clients and friends to let them know about our philanthropic work.
Once we started, we found out quickly that our clients wanted to hear about our current projects. Getting to see real-time updates of progress thrills them. We find social media to be the easiest way to provide examples of our work without compromising client privacy because we can show snap shots but not the whole picture.
Our social media expert has us set up so when we post to one account (Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn) the information hits all three. Integration is really nice so we can focus on business at hand without losing momentum in marketing.
Social media impacts our firm’s marketing efforts heavily. Our next marketing meeting will focus almost solely on what we are doing with social media and exploring some print ads in the next quarter. What we’ve seen thus far is a favorable non-invasive way to share our experiences with others. We hope our social media efforts continue to help our business by providing us with more clients, as well as having our philanthropic causes recognized and supported.
Pam Goldstein, CMKBD
Master Kitchen Bath Designer, LLC
We have a Facebook page that we put up about a year ago. We wanted to keep up with everything that is going on, and we wanted to try to find new ways of marketing. Most of my postings are project photo galleries of our completed kitchen and bath projects.
We use the page in conjunction with our Web site. We used to do a lot of print ads, but we've gotten away from them because they hadn't been working as well as people just searching the internet. Currently, most people find us through our Web site.
However, we're hoping the Facebook page will draw in some more customers. Right now we have some past customers who are our friends, but I'd love to find a way to reach new customers and get more people to comment on the page. We'd also like to see what else is out there as far as social media, such as Twitter. I'm not sure if we should be there, too. It's all still very new. I think we need to have a presence though, and I think it's helpful we are participating in social media.
Jeffrey Corkrey, AKBD
Kitchen & Bath Solutions
Fountain Valley, CA
One of the cabinet companies we work with in Kansas has a Facebook page and we were encouraged by the response they were getting so we recently decided to put up a page, too. So far we post updates or specials we have going on. We haven't gotten a lot of feedback yet, I think in large part because people haven't found us yet.
We do have a Web site where more people visit, probably because we advertise it more. We also have a digital ad with one of our local newspapers that links directly to our site. We have gotten a lot of feedback from that.
We plan to keep up with Facebook, but I think our Web page is probably the best place to showcase us right now. We wanted to give social media a try. We're always looking for new business and new ways to promote ourselves.
Kristen Dunbar, CKD
Designer Craft Woodworking, Inc.
I started in social media with a Facebook page over a year ago with the hopes of giving relevance to my Web site. The Idaho Business League offered, for a fee, to set up the page and manage it for a year. Honestly, since the day they set it up, I haven't been in there, and I don't believe I've receive any direct business from it.
I have found that the best way to market my business has been through a customer newsletter, which I write and mail to my most valued customers about once each quarter. I include a bit about the business and what is going on personally in my life. My first newsletter cost about $70 to send and I got $48,000 of business from it.
I am now relying mostly on my newsletter, and my Web site. I think people expect businesses to have a Web site because it gives relevance. But for me, it's more of a tool than a lead generator. It gives people a place to see my work.
As I move forward, I want to improve my Facebook page and Web site. I also use my iPad to give virtual tours on first consult sessions. Although I'm currently reopening my showroom, I believe the virtual presentation is important, too. I also want to learn more about Angie's List and how it can help my business.
Burton Friesz, principal
Burton C. Friesz Bath & Kitchen Remodeling
I think it's important to participate in social media. We have a Facebook page and we've also participated in Thumbtack, which is a site for consumers looking for [professional] services.
Within six months of creating our Facebook page, we had over 160 fans. I think that's an accomplishment for this type of service. With our page we were hoping to get more people to notice us and call us. We were also looking for ideas and feedback from customers and potential customers.
I do think social media will become a larger part of our marketing plan. We plan to put more effort into it next year. If we combine it with e-mail marketing, I think we can have more success, we just haven't had a chance to do that yet. I do think it will pick up. Social media works well for restaurants and personal services, but it hasn't so much for home repairs yet. I think it has potential, but we're still trying to figure out how to make it work.
Rosie Manolcheva, estimator/project manager
Solution People, Inc.